The average cost of an avocado hit a record-breaking high of $5.06 across the country in May - but far more in Hawke's Bay.

Herald and Local Focus reporters based in Auckland, Hawke's Bay, Tauranga and Hamilton have today nipped out to a local supermarket to buy the popular fruit.

It cost $5.99 for an avocado in Hawke's Bay, $5 in Auckland and in Tauranga and just $2.99 in Hamilton.

The survey was prompted by new figures out today from Statistics New Zealand.

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It revealed the average price for last month, up 37 per cent from $3.69 in April 2018.

The price in May this year, up 50 per cent from $3.38 in May 2017, is the highest ever for avocados since the series began.

Stats NZ prices avocados per kilogram, and the latest movement reflected both higher prices and smaller fruit.

Seasonality impacts avocado prices, Statistics NZ's prices manager Matthew Haigh said.

Typically, avocado prices peak in July and August, as the main harvest season is from August to March," he said.

According to the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association, harvest volumes in the year to June 2018 were down to around half that for the previous season.

This decrease affected the average retail prices of avocados in the past 12 months.

Overall, food prices remained flat in May, falling 0.1 per cent after seasonal adjustment. Falls in fruit and vegetable prices were offset by rises in meat, poultry, and fish prices.

Food prices decreased 0.1 per cent in the year to May 2018, influenced by lower fruit and vegetable prices.

Despite the overall price fall, there were increases in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices (up 2.9 per cent), and non-alcoholic beverage prices (up 4.6 per cent).